WATCH: Mixed Gender Parties Spark Controversy in Gaza

A Palestinian woman holds a balloon in the street in Gaza City as Muslims celebrate the second day of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) holiday on September 13, 2016. / AFP / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)

JAFFA, Israel – Mixed-gender parties organized in conservative Gaza for last week’s Eid al Adha has sparked a controversy in the Strip, ruled by the Islamic movement Hamas.

Videos of private parties, where male and female revelers were seen together in hotel lobbies, were leaked to social media and became viral. In them, male and female singers were seen performing to smoke-filled rooms with a mixed crowd.

Some were deleted following threats. Hardline Islamists accused Hamas of showing leniency in allowing these events to take place.

A Salafi activist in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem that Hamas security officers contacted him and other social media users and demanded they delete posts and tweets.

A local human rights activists confirmed that dozens of users received similar messages.

Hamas refrained from issuing a formal statement, but some loyalists claimed the videos were fabricated. Some even claimed these were parties that took place in Ramallah and organized by their rivals in Fatah to libel Hamas as endorsing promiscuity.

Even though the posts criticizing Hamas were deleted, many users still weighed in on the issue.

“Why are people making a big deal of the woman singing at Almashtal hotel?” Bint Majet wrote. “They claim we badmouth Gaza. Hamas lies and you believe them. The primitiveness! Nobody has the right to curse the singer.”

Hassan Abo Homaid tweeted: “In response to the video of the party at Almashtal Hotel, when the government banned these degenerate parties people complained, and now when it allows them inside hotels they complain, and if the police raided them people would complain and say let them party. I don’t think there’s a nation that’s entirely pious, some are believers and some are debauched. As the old men say, not all your fingers look the same.”

“Forget electricity, the border crossings, the elections, the siege, the occupation and other problems,” Muhamad Alnajar tweeted. “Our biggest problem is that a woman sang at Almashtal Hotel. Our people are famous for their primitiveness.”

“A woman started singing, she did it respectfully, she even wore a headscarf,” Muhammad Aljafrarawi tweeted. “Now everybody criticizes her and has turned her into the most immoral person alive. We don’t deserve to move forward and develop. So she sang, you bunch of primitives, what’s the big deal…”

Journalist Israa Elshareef wrote: “So what if a young woman sang? So what if the song she sang was about her spoiled daughter. She didn’t do it at a night club. Go to hell, you bunch of bored people.”

Social activist Noor Ezzat tweeted: “People are really stupid. I don’t understand why you have to shame the girl who sang. Why, because she’s a girl and not a boy and she’s not allowed to sing? If she was a man she would be allowed to sing?”

Aya Hassan tweeted: “A woman singing is corrupt, but bribery, payoffs and lack of transparency, that’s not corrupt. Only a woman singer.”


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